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Wednesday April 15, 2009 - 09:58:43 GMT
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Forex Blog - European market Update: Risk Aversion/Appetite eyes China GDP report on Thursday; UBS pre-announces more losses, job cuts and net money outflows

Today 05:52am EST/09:52am GMT

European market Update: Risk Aversion/Appetite eyes China GDP report on Thursday; UBS pre-announces more losses, job cuts and net money outflows


- (GE) German March Wholesale Price Index M/M: -0.9% v -0.3%e; Y/Y: -8.0% v -7.1%e; largest annual decline since January 1987

- (SP) Spain March CPI M/M: 0.2% v 0.1%e; Y/Y: -0.1% v -0.1%e

- (SP) Spain March CPI Core M/M: 0.4% v 0.3%e; Y/Y: 1.3% v 1.1%e

- (SP) Spain March CPI EU Harmonized M/M: 0.2% v 0.1%e; Y/Y: -0.1% v -0.1%e

- (CZ) Czech March PPI M/M: -1.1% v 0.3%e; Y/Y; -2.0% v -0.6%e

- (CZ) Czech Feb Export Price index: 8.3% v 3.3% prior; Import Price index: 4.5% v 0.0% prior

- (HU) Hungary Feb Final Industrial Output M/M: -4.1% v -4.1% prior; Y/Y: -25.4% v -25.4% prior

- (TU) Turkish Jan Unemployment Rate: 15.5% v 13.6% prior

- (FR) Bank of France: Mar Retail Sales M/M -1.3% v 3.6% prior month

- (SA) South African Retail Sales Y/Y: -4.5% v 0.6%e

- (UK) DCLG UK house Prices Y/Y: -12.3% v -11.5% prior


- Equities: European equity markets opened to the downside accelerating to the -1% across the board in early choppy trading. Initial losses were concentrated in the previous days winning sectors with financials moving broadly lower (UBS halted limit down on the open). As Goldman's Q1 report lifted European banks on Tuesday, Goldman's guidance for its cap raise lowered banks on Wednesday. Other sectors under performing included the mixed mining sector after downbeat comments from Rio Tinto (confirming intentions to peruse Chinalco deal and seeing global output down approx 6% y/y in Q1) and the tech sector following Intel's and ASML's Q1 reports. By 4:00EST markets had rallied off their lows as banks recovered and consumer product continued to trade higher, the FTSE100 turning positive just after 4:00EST. Crude front month moving past the $50/bbl level pushed large cap energy shares higher, adding extra index point weight to the uptick. Gains were slowly paired in lighter than average trading heading into the European afternoon.

|| Rio Tinto [RIO.UK] Provides Q1 production update, output in line with reduced market demand; Still committed to reaching deal with Chinalco. Has seen no significant movement in net debt since Q4 2008, markets remain volatile; timing of global economic recovery uncertain. Expects recovery in Chinese steel demand in H2 2009 (in line with previous statements). 2009 budget for
Greenfield expansion cut by 60%. ||Fiat [F.IT] CEO: Sees 50/50 chance a partnership will be formed with Chrysler, will discontinue discussion with co if does not reach big labor cost cuts - Globe and Mail. Labor talks progressing especially slow in Canada. || UBS [UBSN.SZ] Guides Q1 Net Loss CHF2B v Loss 6.7Be, Tier 1 Capital Ratio of about 10%, sees 8,700 job cuts through 2010 ( about 11% of workforce). States that the losses stems from a negative contribution totaling roughly CHF 3.9B due to losses on previously disclosed illiquid risk positions- To exit high risk, unpromising businesses. Will maintain its core businesses: international wealth management and the Swiss banking business, alongside its global expertise in investment banking and asset management. Planning cost savings by FY2010 of between CHF2.5B and 3.5B. || Pernod Richard [RI.FR] To launch previously announced €1.04B rights issue with 36% discount (approx €26.70/shr based on Tuesdays close) - Les Echos. Shareholders can subscribe to 3 new shares for 17 existing shares. || Air Franc [AF.FR] Planning to cut 3,000 jobs through 2011 (about 2.8% of workforce) - La Tribune. ||

- Speakers: ECB's Weber noted that there was a bit more leeway to lower its main Refi rate but was skeptical having it move below 1%. He reiterated the view that a decision on unconventional policy tools would be made in early May with adequate bank liquidity provisions as a key ingredient. Future deficit procedure against
Germany is likely. He did note that outright asset purchases should take back seat || ECB Provopoluos noted that interest rate cuts were not fully translated to lower borrowing rates for consumers and business. Monetary policy and liquidity provision are main factors averting any deflation risks in EU || German DIW Institute forecasted that German 2009 GDP could contract by as much as 4.9% but added that it saw "signs emerging of a possible end to the sharp recession.” The institute saw Q2 GDP contraction of 0.9% versus a contraction of 2.2% in the prior quarter. It did see Germany's 2009 deficit of €77.9B (or 3.3% of GDP) which would be above the Maastrict Stability Pact guidelines ||Swedish Fin Min Borg commented that one could not rule out further support towards the banking sector and that the decline of business in the Baltic's might required further Swedish interaction. He did note that the stimulus measures were seen as tool to fight unemployment || Russian Central Bank Deputy Chief Ulyukayev stated that there was an improvement in the country's balance of payments & current account after its currency “devaluation” back in late Jan. he saw the 2009 current account surplus above $40B and that average oil price above $44/barrel. The central bank might cut its refi rate at some point in next few weeks || European Bank for reconstruction & Development (EBRD) chief economist stated that the Baltic States have no alternative to moving to Euro; to raise investment to region in 2009 || Russia Fin Min reiterated the view that 2010 could be more difficult then 2009. he did note yesterday that the forecast of -2.2% decline in 2009 GDP was "looking optimistic," and it could be several years for Russia to exit crisis ||

- In Currencies: Far East factors provided the price action in most currency pairs. The JPY was the primary focus during the pre-European morning. The initial theme of risk aversion continued to help both the USD and JPY against their major pairs but fixed-income flows were also having a favorable impact on the JPY. Dealer chatter circulated that EUR/JPY cross was weighed down by Euro bond redemptions with talk that around €45B in redemptions maturing later this week. Also aiding the JPY cause was talk that
Japan's Kampo Life was not planning to purchase non-JPY bonds during the course of 2009.

- The EUR/USD proved unable to break below the 1.32 level during the course of the European morning as a degree of risk appetite return with equity markets moving to the upper part of the session range and commodities holding steady. Vague chatter of a 'second' Chinese stimulus package making the rounds and helping to reverse the currency price action seen during the Asian session. JPY off its best levels as a result. USD/JPY at 99.02 after testing 98.15 pre-Europe and EUR/JPY above 131 after testing 129.90 in

- The AUD pair was in focus as its recent multi-month highs brought back some players who were 'burned' in the post-Lehman bankruptcy price movements and unwinding of carry-related pairs. The AUD weakness was attributed to chatter circulating of addition position unwinding by Citic Pacific. Back in late Oct 2008, HK-listed Citic Pacific reported that it lost billions on unauthorized bets related to the AUD.

- Fixed income: European Government bonds have benefited from a generally risk averse sentiment amongst investors this morning, with Bund and Gilt futures firmly in positive territory despite having supply and fluctuating equity and currency markets to contend with. ||The Bundesbank sold just under €6B in 2011 Schatz, with mixed results. The auction was covered 1.5 times, below the previous 2.1 and 1.6 average in previous three Schatz auctions, but the Bundesbank retained just 15% for market intervention, less than the average of 20%. || In the UK, the DMO sold £500M in 2037 linkers, with the auction covered 1.62 times, above the average of 1.3 in the previous three auctions. The Bank of England announced plans to buy £3.5B in Gilts in the 5-10y maturity basket later in the session. ||US Treasuries have seen flattening, with selling in the short end and buying in the long end of the yield curve. 2s10s is back below 190bps. ||Euro-zone interbank rates continue to touch fresh record lows. One month Euribor fell another basis point to 0.99%, whilst 3 Month Euribor fell 0.8pbs to 1.415%. ||In corporate issuance, Michelin confirmed plans to sell £750M in a new 5y year whilst Veolia is reportedly planning a 2 part 5 and 10y euro denominated benchmark offering

- In Energy: Repsol [REP.SP] Closing its Cartagena refinery in Southern Spain (100K bpd) for undetermined period due to refining margins

*** NOTES ***

- Risk aversion theme focusing on the Asian factor with mixed results being provided ahead of the key China GDP data set for release on Thursday in Asia.
Japan's Feb Capacity Utilization M/M fell by almost 12% and the Industrial output slipped by 9.4% M/M. But the MOF did issue a somewhat better outlook for Mar and Apr period.

- South Korea SK lost 195k jobs in Mar with its unemployment being the highest level since Oct 2005. S. Korea also lowered its 2009 export growth target to -13.5% from +1.1% prior

- China Q1 GDP Rumored in 6.0-6.8% range compared to the 6.2% consensus ahead of the official report tomorrow

- Jitters in the financial sector continue following the UBS Q1 pre-release. With a loss of about CHF2.0B, reduction of 11% of more
staff and CHF23.0B net money outflows

- Vague chatter of a 'second' Chinese stimulus package helping European bourses recover from opening level lows and weaken USD, JPY related pairs

- Preventing protectionism was a key theme at the G20 earlier this month but China's China's National Development and reform Commission has withheld approval of Hunan Valin Steel's bid for 17% of Australia's Fortescue Metals for the time being...

- WSJ: Fed considering holding press conferences much in the fashion that the ECB currently does. Considering more disclosure on emergency lending programs

- Market participants talking about an article in the Telegraph by Ambrose Evans Pritchard. The article noted that; S&P expected 1/3 of EU junk bonds to default by end of 2011.

- Looking Ahead: Key US Corp earnings expected ahead of the US market open: Abbot labs [ABT]; Progressive Corp [PGR] and Charles Schwab [SCHW]

- 7:00 (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e Apr 10th: No expectations v 4.75 prior

- 8:00 (
PD) Polish March CPI M/M: 0.4% expected v 0.9% prior; Y/Y: 3.4% expected v 3.3% prior

- 8:30 (CL) Chile Mar Copper exports: No estimates versus $1.28B prior

- 8:30 (CA) Canadian Feb New Motor Vehicle Sales M/M: -2.0% expected v 5.5% prior

- 8:30 (US) March CPI (last m/m 0.4%, y/y 0.2%; ex food & energy last m/m 0.2%, y/y 1.8%), March CPI Core Index SA (last 217.670), April Empire Manufacturing (last -38.23)

- 9:00 (US) Feb Net Long-Term TIC Flows (last -$43B), Feb Total Net TIC Flows (last -$148.9B)

- 9:15 (US) March Industrial Production (last -1.5%), March Capacity Utilization (last 70.2%)

- 10:30 (US) DoE Crude Oil/Gasoline/Distillate Inventories

- 13:00 (US) Apr NAHB Housing Market index: 10 expected versus 9 prior

- 14:00 (US) Fed's Beige Book


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